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Police Reform

Coverage of civil action, news events and policy change pertaining to policing in Chicago, Illinois and the U.S.

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Lightfoot unveils search warrant reforms

No-knock warrants will be strictly prohibited except in "specific cases where lives or safety are in danger." And even in those extreme cases, a "bureau chief or higher" must OK them.

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Black women aldermen want ban on no-knock warrants, other changes to avoid repeat of botched raid on social worker’s home

Anjanette Young thanked the aldermen for championing her cause in a way that will "foster a better sense of safety for all families in Black and Brown communities."

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‘Chicago P.D.’ star says the show, criticized as ‘copaganda,’ now is ‘trying to turn a page’

Society’s changing view of cops is on the mind of Patrick John Flueger, whose character Adam Ruzek this season is helping call out police misconduct.

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Aldermen call for superintendent’s firing, hearings after inspector general blasts CPD response to riots

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) said Chicago Police Supt. David Brown is "of no value" and should go. Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) wants hearings to get "straight answers" from the mayor and police about failures identified in Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s new report.

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A failure of police work at the top during George Floyd protests marked a setback for Chicago

In a scathing 124-page report, Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson says officers were left "outflanked, under-equipped and unprepared."

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Mayoral ally calls off Friday’s showdown vote on civilian police review

The Committee on Public Safety was set to consider two competing proposals. But now Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to introduce a third option — one that allows the mayor to decide disputes over changes in police policy.

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‘This can never happen again,’ ranking cop says in scathing inspector general report on Chicago’s response to summer riots

Officers were "outflanked, under-equipped and unprepared" and the Chicago Police Department "critically disserved both its own front-line members and members of the public," says the report, which one alderman called a "complete shock."

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Diversity in law enforcement can lead to better treatment of people of color, says study examining Chicago police

The study published in the journal Science found that compared to white officers, Black and Hispanic officers made far fewer stops and arrests — and used force less often — especially against Black civilians.

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Lightfoot says executive order will help people alleging police misconduct

People filing complaints with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability can obtain some video and documents without filing. a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act. But the new policy still allows the city to deny requests in some cases.

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New ‘Chicago Police Torture Archive’ details acts of Jon Burge and underlings

The new site, launched by the Invisible Institute, includes profiles and interviews with numerous victims of Burge and his "midnight crew." Scores of court transcripts, depositions, media clips and photos are also included in the archive.

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Black Caucus wants City Council to create a Committee on Litigation and Risk Management

"A lot of this stuff came out of the Anjanette Young case," Ald. Jason Ervin said, referring to the social worker who was left handcuffed and naked for 40 minutes when Chicago Police raided the wrong house.

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Reforms would reduce number of wrongful convictions

As state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, points out, "Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois are the wrongful conviction capital of America."

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The killing of two Black Panthers, the secrets of the FBI — and our nation’s long fight for police reform

Newly released documents shed disturbing light on the FBI’s involvement in a 1969 police raid that resulted in the deaths of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.

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Hasty police and justice ‘reforms’ in Illinois undermine public safety

This soon-to-be law weakens the ability to fight crime and protect the public. It is a recipe for further carnage.

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Union: CPD suspended 17 officers, supervisors who lounged in congressman’s burglarized office

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said the union is challenging all the suspensions, ranging from one day to 20 days, arguing that the officers did nothing wrong. The department declined to comment, and has not disclosed what, if any, penalties were handed out.

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After 15 years, popular ‘Second City Cop’ blog goes dark

Operators of the site — read by thousands of people and often referred to as "SCC" or merely "the blog" — restricted access over the weekend, preventing anyone without an invitation from reading future posts.

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Criminal justice reform bill puts Chicago FOP on the clock to cut a deal

Major police reforms in the bill include allowing anonymous complaints and eliminating cash bail. The Legislative Black Caucus calls the bill a response to systematic racism; a coalition of cops says it makes the state "less safe."

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Black Caucus bills include important police reforms

Legislation contains "four pillars": police and criminal justice reform, education reform, health care and human services reform, and expansion of economic opportunity.

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No charges in Jacob Blake shooting; decision ‘further destroys trust in our justice system,’ family attorney says

The announcement comes almost five months after Blake was shot by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake, 29, was leaning into an SUV when Officer Rusten Sheskey opened fire.

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Lightfoot, Anjanette Young meet for ‘very candid’ conversation about botched CPD raid

The meeting, which had been called off by Young’s lawyers earlier in the week, came a day after the mayor’s office released a trove of internal emails and police documents related to the case.

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Two more Louisville officers may be fired in connection to Breonna Taylor’s death

The shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, in her home sparked months of protests in Louisville alongside national protests over racial injustice and police misconduct.

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Lawyer for Anjanette Young calls off meeting with Mayor Lightfoot

Young’s lawyer said his client faced "some informal pushback from individuals associated with Mayor Lightfoot" after Young and her attorney invited a small group of aldermen to take part in a public forum, also planned for Wednesday.

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One cop on botched Young raid took part in different search on wrong home; another fatally shot a man months later

A Chicago Sun-Times review of city records also shows none of the officers on the raid has ever been disciplined because of a civilian complaint.

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Botched police raids scar whole neighborhoods and defeat reform nationwide

The job of the police is not just to make arrests. It’s about making a community feel safe.

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Chicago alderman, faith leaders pray for healing in aftermath of Anjanette Young raid

Bishop Larry Trotter, senior pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago, said some in his congregation have told him they also fear police raids on their homes.

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Woman, family members sue city, police after Brickyard Mall incident

Mia Wright was among those dragged from her car by police; bystanders captured officers’ actions on video. She "is now blind in her right eye" causing "a devastating blow to her aspirations of becoming a paramedic," according to Wright’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday.

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Retired federal judge, outside law firm to investigate botched CPD raid, mayor says

Retired federal Judge Ann Claire Williams and Chicago-based law firm Jones Day will lead an outside investigation.

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2020 in photos: An unprecedented year

For people across the country, 2020 was a year of challenges and struggles, punctuated with bright spots. The Chicago Sun-Times’ photojournalists captured the moments that shaped this generation-defining year.

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Lightfoot apologizes for botched police raid

"I am deeply sorry and troubled that her home was invaded and that she had to face the humiliation and trauma that she suffered. That is just not right. It simply should not have happened," Lightfoot said of the raid on the home of Anjanette Young.

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Lightfoot accused of trying to water down pivotal criminal justice reform

Ald. Leslie Hairston wants anyone arrested by Chicago police to be told of their right to free legal counsel and allowed a "reasonable number of phone calls" to attorneys and relatives within an hour.

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Chicago cops engaged in brutality, civil rights violations during summer protests: lawsuit

The 203-page lawsuit was filed on behalf of 60 people who claim they were victimized by officers during protests largely sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake.

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COPA chief says recurring themes dominate complaints against CPD during civil unrest

Sydney Roberts, chief administrator of Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, said complaints about excessive use of batons, verbal abuse and police failure to activate or possess body cameras were so prevalent that she recommended policy changes to CPD.